Carmen's Reviews > Crossfire Christmas

Crossfire Christmas by Julie         Miller
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really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, romance, traditionally-published, harlequin-intrigue, she-says
Recommended to Carmen by: Harlequin
Recommended for: Romance fans

Charlie Nash, undercover DEA agent, finds himself in a shootout with some Spanish-speaking thugs. He is badly wounded. He crashes his truck making his escape.

Teresa Rodríguez is a pediatric nurse. She's 29, but her older sisters and brother still treat her like a child. She hates their overprotective and coddling ways, yet feels like she can't tell them off without hurting their feelings. She wishes they would trust her and take her seriously.

It was both a blessing and a curse to be part of such a tight-knit, loving family. While she knew she was loved and would never lack for someone to care about her, she was the baby of the family and asserting her independence was a challenge she'd been working on for most of her 29 years.

When Teresa sees a black pickup truck spun out in a ditch, her nursing instincts drive her to stop and check on any potential passengers. But instead of finding an injured person in need of help, she finds a gun pointed at her.

The mysterious Charles/Mr. Charles was still leaning against the truck to hold himself up. But the gun he fired into the tree behind him was steaming in the cold air. The smell of sulfur filled her nose as he pulled the weapon down to aim it right at her. "Don't get any idea that you're going to run from me." His raspy low-pitched threat was a whispery cloud in the night air.
...

When Charlie and Teresa first meet, I was really afraid this was going do plunge into the kind of sick sexual fantasies that make Frank Miller so excited. You know, dangerous man threatens a breathless woman with a gun, dialogue consists of sexually provocative stuff like:

What are you going to do with me?

Blergh. Listen, I want romance. And being held hostage is NOT romantic NOR a sexual fantasy that makes me happy. :(

Thankfully, Miller avoids this route by clearing up Nash's DEA agent status by page 69. Thank you, Miller. Thank you for allowing these two people to get to know each other on more equal ground and thank you for not playing the sickening "I've got a gun now do what I say" angle. Miller neatly avoids some rather disgusting cliches here and I am grateful to her for it.

Teresa helps Charlie heal from his physical wounds - which are numerous and quite painful, I wasn't really buying it when they finally have sex at the end of the book - and in return Charlie helps Teresa by needing her and trusting her. He treats her like a responsible adult and that puts her on Cloud 9. Of course she IS a responsible adult, her family is just overprotective and annoying, but still. It helps her fall in love with him.
...

Once again, I am faced with an author using questionable Spanish. Seems very popular nowadays to put Spanish in your novels.
...

Her short legs had to do double time to keep up with his long strides.
Teresa was great because she was a character I could really relate to. She is short - 5'3" - and Miller often talks about her short little legs and having to jog to keep up with the long strides of Charlie, who is a full foot taller than her. I am also a little shorty and I also find myself running to keep up with people. I like having a heroine that I can relate to on some level. :)
...

One bad thing is that, due to her height, Charlie gives Teresa the unfortunate nickname of Pee Wee. Ew. I mean, really? Much to my relief, once things start getting hot and heavy she tells him to cut that shit out. I am grateful. I can't imagine what a mood-killer it would be to have your man calling you "Pee Wee" while trying to get you into bed. Blergh. o.O
...

Could she really be feeling something for Nash after knowing him so short a time? Was this dangerous attraction a lusty response to being forced into the most thrilling adventure of her life? Or was she just as foolish as her brother and sisters claimed because she was so eager to be treated as a useful adult that she mistook Nash's need for her medical assistance and knowledge of the area as some kind of emotional connection?

Lots of shoot-outs, lots of patching up the wounded hero, sweet hero interacts with dying little girl, and lots of motel hiding out.
...

This was a good romance book! 4 out of 5 romance stars, 3 real stars. The only reason it's not getting 5 romance stars is because the sex could have been better described. However, I'm sure the ladies who work for Harlequin Intrigue are under contract not to get too explicit, so...

P.S. Guess where Charlie's from? You have one guess. Yes! Texas! You are correct! Apparently the only super-hot men in the USA live in Texas. And Texas is just chock-full of hunks. I have NO kind of cowboy fetish and this whole "he's a rancher/cowboy/Texas Ranger" things just kind of baffles me. I mean it doesn't turn me OFF, but it's not a turn-on, either. It sure is popular, though.

THREE REAL STARS, FOUR ROMANCE STARS

Harlequin Intrigue November 2014
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Reading Progress

October 31, 2014 – Shelved
November 22, 2014 – Started Reading
November 22, 2014 –
page 10
4.46% ""You're outnumbered, Señor Nash!" one of the thugs taunted, his accent rolling his Rs and making the gibe sound like a joke instead of a promise of death. "You are the mouse and we are the gatos. When you come out of your hole, we'll be waiting to pounce."\n - Oh, gosh. I hope we're not going to go through the whole book like this."
November 22, 2014 –
page 18
8.04% "At five foot three, Teresa found that a lot of things, except her patients, were taller than her.\n - Mmmmm-hmmmm, I feel ya, girl."
November 22, 2014 –
page 22
9.82% "It was both a blessing and a curse to be part of such a tight-knit, loving family. While she knew she was loved and would never lack for someone to care about her, she was the baby of the family and asserting her independence was a challenge she'd been working on for most of her 29 years."
November 22, 2014 –
page 24
10.71% "Just as much as she loved her family, she wanted them to respect her skills and maturity and the desire to be who she needed to be."
November 22, 2014 –
page 30
13.39% "Gamberro is your middle name.\n - Um. No. It would be gamberra."
November 22, 2014 –
page 36
16.07% "The mysterious Charles/Mr. Charles was still leaning against the truck to hold himself up. But the gun he fired into the tree behind him was steaming in the cold air. the smell of sulfur filled her nose as he pulled the weapon down to aim it right at her. "Don't get any idea that you're going to run from me." His raspy low-pitched threat was a whispery cloud in the night air."
November 22, 2014 –
page 38
16.96% "He was still processing those quick impressions of curves and heat and spirited beauty when she offered up a husky whisper. "What are you going to do with me?"\n - Oh, gosh. Stop with the Frank Miller crap. If you turn this into some sick sexual fantasy, I'm leaving."
November 22, 2014 –
page 42
18.75% "He couldn't have been rescued by some meek, mousy thing who'd do what he said without the attitude? He tapped the butt of the gun against her shoulder. "That's pretty bold talk for a woman who's got no advantage."\n "Uh-huh. I'm not the one bleeding to death.""
November 22, 2014 –
page 105
46.88% "He palmed the back of her neck, tipped her face up and pressed a quick kiss to her mouth. "None of this is your fault." When her lips softened beneath his, he lifted her onto her toes and leaned in to kiss her again. "None of it."\n The second kiss was almost as quick. But firmer. More satisfying. Less like an apology and more like a man testing his welcome with a woman he cared about.\n - KISSING"
November 22, 2014 –
page 106
47.32% "Her short legs had to do double time to keep up with his long strides.\n - I feel ya, girl."
November 22, 2014 –
page 114
50.89% "Could she really be feeling something for Nash after knowing him so short a time? Was this dangerous attraction a lusty response to being forced into the most thrilling adventure of her life? Or was she just as foolish as her brother and sisters claimed because she was so eager to be treated as a useful adult that she mistook Nash's need for her medical assistance and knowledge of the area as some kind of emotional"
November 22, 2014 –
page 126
56.25% "It wasn't about the way Nash forced her to be stronger, smarter, more stubborn - the capable adult she'd always known she could be. He hadn't babied her. Not once.\n No wonder she kept thinking she was falling for him. He treated her the way she wished her family would treat her. Like a grown woman. She'd never had anyone like that in her life before. If she wasn't careful, she really would fall in love with Charlie"
November 22, 2014 –
page 133
59.38% "Then she pushed up onto her toes, and he lowered his head and they were kissing.\n - Kissing!"
November 22, 2014 –
page 136
60.71% ""By making out with a randy cowboy cop from Texas?"\n A soft smile finally relaxed her mouth. "My brother and sisters would call an intervention if I told them that."\n "They don't see you with a bad boy like me, huh?"\n "On some days, I don't think they picture me with anybody. Unless he's staid, boring and unlikely to ever put his hands on me.""
November 22, 2014 –
page 137
61.16% ""Teresa... I'm trying to do the right thing here. Not just by my men but by you, too. I may not be the smoothest guy on the planet. But I do know how to treat a lady right. I can't tell you how much I want you. But this is the wrong time, wrong place - I may even be the wrong man. I can't offer you much of a future. I may not even be able to offer you next week. You deserve better than that.""
November 22, 2014 –
page 176
78.57% "Teresa dropped to her knees at Emilia's startled yelp. Her blood ran cold when she peeked beneath the curtain to see the man point his gun at her sister's belly. Emilia backed against the stainless steel counter, shielding her baby with her arms.\n - Did you just point a gun at a pregnant woman? You fucking piece of shit!"
November 22, 2014 –
page 192
85.71% "Condom use! Extra points!"
November 22, 2014 –
page 216
96.43% ""Seriously, Nash? You need to stop getting shot. You should just ask me out on a date.""
November 22, 2014 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Cheeky Cher (new)

Cheeky Cher "And Texas is just chock-full of hunks." -- This is actually a true story. ;)


Carmen LOL You must have a lot of fun! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!


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